Frazier: ‘He brings the energy. I bring the countriness.’

Despite (or maybe because of) their musical differences, dynamic duo driving the Red River Trucking Company makes it all work (with occasional bouts of anarchy)


Sophie Leung-Lieu

In part 2 of our Feeback Loop conversation, Red River Trucking Company prime movers Joaquin Frazier and King Perez Cude talk about the benefits of adding a bass player, of having divergent musical tastes and of performing without a complicated agenda.

In the second part of our conversation with the Red River Trucking Company, King Perez Cude and Joaquín Frazier share why adding bass player Cash White was essential to the group’s sound. Between Cash (psychedelic), Joaquín (country and blues) and King (punk and metal), the group has just about all genres covered.

Frazier said that adding a bass player also allows the group to produce a more layered sound and gives him a chance to produce more freedom to craft meaningful guitar solos.

That’s my goal: ‘How much anarchy can I bring out in people?’

— drummer King Perez Cude

Both rising juniors said that their different primary genres of interest make their music sound better because the bandmates complement each other.

“We love everything,” Frazier said. “We can vibe with whatever. If [King] plays a song, I’ll probably like it, and if I play a song, he’s probably going to like it. They’re just from two different lanes.”

Their ability to mesh so well musically with each other is also due to their long friendship, which dates back to middle school. Frazier mentioned the farewell concert for Mr. Myers last March as clear evidence of the degree to which he and Perez Cude understand each other as musicians. Their decision to perform at the concert was last-minute, yet they were able to play a two-song bluegrass set that elicited a warm audience response from the capacity outdoor stage crowd.

“He brings the energy,” Frazier said of Perez Cude. “I bring the countriness.”

Perez Cude said that energy comes from his musical origin story.

“I started off in a punk band, so I have that very vigorous—play fast, hard and louder than everyone else in the room,” Perez Cude said. “[Joaquín] is like, ‘Yo! Let’s slow down for a minute.'”

We just play the music and hope we sound cool.

— guitarist Joaquín Frazier

Even on their differences, the two musicians agree.

“I love singer/songwriter people,” said Frazier, who mentioned Jason Isbell, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Townes Van Zandt as major influences. “I’m trying to get the words out, and [King is] just banging. I’m proud of the lyrics but you can’t always hear them.”

The pair also talked about how they produce an entirely different sound when they reverse roles with Perez Cude playing guitar and Frazier on drums.

“[Joaquín will] just come up with the complete opposite of what I would play over that,” Perez Cude said, “and I’m like, ‘Why does this work?'”

The explained their desired outcome of a performance in simple terms. Their goal when performing is not to offer some transcendent spiritual experience but rather just to sound good and have their fans join them in a few moments of joyous spontaneity.

“We just play the music and hope we sound cool,” Frazier said.

Perez Cude added that part of the fun of performing is trying to get the audience to react in an unexpected way.

“That’s my goal: ‘How much anarchy can I bring out in people?'” he said. “Can I get people to mosh to a Black Keys cover?”

BALLADS AND BLUES: Sophomores King Perez Cude and Joaquín Frazier, from the student band Red River Trucking Company, played two traditional bluegrass tunes, Chris Stapleton’s “Midnight Train to Memphis” and an original song called “Ballad of an Outlaw Fugitive” at the Mr. Myers send-off concert. “We’re a rock band usually, but we have a lot of old school country and blues elements, so we decided to go acoustic,” Frazier said. He describes their style as complicated. “We’re kind of all over the place, but I would say blues or southern rock with some serious country and psychedelic influences,” Frazier said. Although he never met Mr. Myers, Frazier wanted to perform in honor of him. “[I] never got to know Mr. Myers, but I’ve heard great things he had done for our friends, and we wanted to play in honor of him,” he said. “We put together a short set together the night before and decided to go for it.” Video and reporting by Lucy Marco.

BLUEGRASS ON THE OUTDOOR STAGE: After playing a cover of Chris Stapleton’s “Midnight Train to Memphis,” Red River Trucking Company members King Perez-Cude and Joaquín Frazier played a seldom-played original song entitled, “Ballad of an Outlaw Fugitive.” Still photo by Xel-Ha Montejano. Video by Dave Winter.